Noise Terror Productions
This second compilation from the label run by Suicide Commando's Johan Van Roy and Dependent's Stefan Herwig immediately suggests a slightly different approach to Volume One. The subtitle World Wide Electronics has been added hinting that this outing may be more electronic industrial influenced than harsh electro, and so it turns out to be. Behind the stylish sleeve artwork by Brigitta Settels (that reminds one of the menus from Covenant's recent Skyshaper DVD) you'll find fifteen tracks by a truly global selection of artists. This is not a label sampler as such but more a handpicked choice by NTP's Van Roy of like-minded outfits.
The good news is that this better than the first outing. The bad news is that many of the previously unknown wordly contributors are little more than Suicide Commando-inspired wannabes (see Alien Vampires, Winter Soul and Sadiztik:Injektion) so for this reviewer at least, there's still room for much improvement. Still, of those that do ape Van Roy's signature style occasionally, like Reaxion Guerrilla from Peru (on the X-Fusion remix at least of Sacrifice), also serve up some impressive electronics alongside the more familiar screeching voices, electronics that in this instance recall first album Destroid. Poland's Controlled Collapse continue to set themselves apart from the crowds on the Egoist remixed Destiny. Worthy of further attention are Rosewater (Latvia), Noisuf-X (Germany) a spin-off project from Reaxion Guerilla remixers X-Fusion, Ginger Snap5 (Ukraine) for their trance influenced Feel My Rhythm, and Fix8:Sed8 (Germany) whose remix by Cold Drive of Minotaurus comes from the Daniel Myer produced 2006 debut album Humanophobia.
I almost feel apologetic about the way I feel towards Johan Van Roy. What Noise Terror 2: World Wide Electronics succeeds in doing, which its predecessor failed to, is in demonstrating that there is breadth and depth to the genre and that, frankly, much of it is more imaginative than (inexplicably) field leaders Suicide Commando. So, for initiatives like establishing the NTP label and releasing artists and compilations like this Van Roy can only be applauded. However, his musical contribution to society, be it the SC entry here, Hate Me, or his not-very-different if 'brand new' project Kombat Unit's We Are Machines, remains a strictly limited example of the style and still does little to satisfy or inspire. He's not alone though, other key genre players Grendel (Netherlands), who also feature, leave me equally cold. 7/10
Rob Dyer (December, 2007)
Noise Terror Productions/Dependent
As you may have deduced from the name, Noise Terror Productions is a label committed not to releasing happy synthpop but hard-edged, club-friendly, electro-industrial and dark EBM. A sound that in recent years has been spearheaded by Johan Van Roy's prolific Suicide Commando outfit. Van Roy created NPT as a splinter label out of European electronic scene leader Dependent last year.
Noise Terror brings together fifteen newcomers and old hands alike not all of whom are signed to NPT but at least represent the sound the label is keen to promulgate. So we've the likes of Fractured, Dioxyde, Controlled Collapse and Captive of Society in the former camp; with names like Leather Strip, Insekt and, of course, Suicide Commando in the latter. A browse through the accompanying booklet shows that this clearly a global musical style with acts hailing from the UK, Germany (surprise!), Greece, Canada (surprise!), Denmark, USA, Spain and Belgium (surprise again!). So there could be a future for NPT beyond the closure of parent label Dependent due later this year.
About half of the artists included are new to me but of those only Controlled Collapse stand out as worth monitoring. It's all a bit relentless and frankly exhausting before too long, but there are moments of relief like Controlled Collapse's Insane Asylum and FGFC820's GBA, a project of New York DJ Rexx Arkana known from his Bruderschaft initiative. And it comes as no surprise that the Leather Strip contribution is a major high point. 5/10
Rob Dyer (March 2007)
Official Noise Terror Productions website: http://www.noiseterrorproductions.com